Best City in the World—Looking after Belfast (Raymond’s Loss) 2010–14
HD Video | 19'36"
In early April 2010, the artist placed an advertisement in several Northern Irish newspapers: “Israeli woman visiting Belfast would like to meet people for advice about sharing a country.” One respondent was
Raymond McCord, a Protestant, whose son was murdered by members of a Protestant militia during the conflict in Northern Ireland. A year after their initial meetings, McCord took the artist in his car to see the locations where his story is played out. The video was shot by the artist with a handheld camera from the passenger seat.
The German Projects (Munich as a Playground), 2004-2014
In June 2004, Sharone Lifschitz won the international competition initiated by the City of Munich to create an artwork for the inauguration of the Jewish Museum Munich. Chantal Akerman and Ken Lum were also on the list of 10 artists who were invited to submit proposals. With this started a collaboration between the Jewish Museum, the City of Munich and the artist that unfolded in several projects for over a decade. Together, these projects, as well as Sleeping Germany, form an enquiry into the nature of encounter, personal and collective memory, trauma and public space. The works redefine the discourse of memory in public space as not only the memory of those who experienced the events, but also the generations of German people (in the most expanded definition of the term) who carried their own body of personal, familial and collective memories, emotions and experiences in relation to those events.
Sleeping Germany (2000-02) and Speaking Germany (2004-08) do not refer directly to the atrocities of the Third Reich. Instead, both projects attempt to find out what is actually remembered by individuals and to trace the ways in which Germans relate to their past. The projects consciously move away from the weighty physicality of absence used in the Counter-Monument movement, into the dialogical mundanity of human exchanges, and the rereading of memory and trauma within public spaces through personal encounters.
Memorial as Parasite (2008) then builds upon the notion of the presence of absence in a more direct way. If I Were to Forget You (2014) then attempts to create a film that functioned as an urban monument by tracing, through conversations, the absence of four Jews who grew up in Munich but who left Germany in the 1930s. In the resulting film, their memories surface over images from the contemporary, rebuilt post-war City of Munich.
This body of work addresses the tradition of the Counter-Monument movement and negotiates its own territory in relation to the abstract and physical qualities of many of Counter-Monument movement seminal works.